ONLINE EXPERT WORKSHOP
ON THE PATH TOWARDS THE EU: EFFECTIVE AND TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION IN SERVICE FOR CITIZENS
It is our great pleasure to announce the closed panel discussion on the topic: On the path towards the EU: Effective and transparent administration in service for citizens, hosted by the Institute of Social Science and Humanities – Skopje with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Project office for Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
The event will take place on December 11, 2020 on the Zoom online platform, starting from 11:00 a.m. (CET).
In the introduction of the panel, prof. Katerina Kolozova will briefly present the study “On the path towards the EU: Effective and transparent administration in service for citizens”.
The project seeks to analyze the public policies and examine the underlying principles in law-making and implementation in terms of their adherence to the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, focusing on two issues in particular: the placement of the individual at the center of governing activities (to paraphrase the Charter) and the right to good administration as one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Charter at issue. Full compliance with those aspects shall be fundamental for the national administrative reform agenda and an incremental part of the opening of the EU-accession process. Considering that the newly elected government led by the Social Democrats has prioritized the implementation of the Urgent Reform Priorities (URP) set by the European Commission seeking to hinder the democratic backsliding, we argue that it is time to examine to what extent the allegedly good legislation (but “bad implementation”) adheres to the fundamental principles of the Union. We will focus on the administration and its role of service for the citizens, namely on the issue of the implementation of the IRP in terms of the practice ordinary citizens are faced with on a daily basis. We contend that “the bad implementation” consists in a heavily bureaucratized state apparatus that hinders the right to a good and individual centered administration with no effective means to seek justice and compensation when damaged by the institutions. The “bad implementation” of the allegedly “good laws” is derived from certain tenets of the legislation that betray a self-serving state apparatus, thus rendering the citizen a silent subject to contradictory and costly procedures. The same legislation and the prescribed steps of implementation, present in the laws and bylaws, leave the citizen without juridical and other mechanisms that would help defend individual and collective civic rights vis-à-vis the state.
Thus, we will tackle the adherence to the principles of the fundamentals rights in lawmaking and governance, but, also, the concomitant issues of institutional transparency, and the accountability of low to middle level administrative corruption, encountered by the ordinary people, and measured through our evidence based research.
This project continues ISSHS’ effort to work on “de-capturing” the state institutions by working on projects aimed at depolarizing, creating assumptions for wider social reconciliation, as well as combatting the populist and illiberal tides in Macedonian society. Given the fact that North Macedonia is expected to initiate the process of negotiations toward the end of 2020, and keeping in mind that the first negotiating chapter covers precisely these areas of judiciary and European fundamental rights, we, together with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, consider it more than timely to monitor and raise awareness as to whether the legislation and its implementation indeed subscribes to the key values of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. One of the principles – if not the core principle – expressed in the preamble of the Charter is the following: “One of the central principles of the European Union is that It places the individual at the heart of its activities, by establishing the citizenship of the Union and by creating an area of freedom, security and justice.” Thus, good and efficient administration and the values present in Chapter 23 are intrinsically linked (and by extension Chapter 24 too, concerning an efficient and just Administrative Court).
Ljupcho Petkovski, moderator, Junior Scientific Associate of Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities – Skopje (ISSHS)
Katerina Kolozova, Executive Director of Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities – Skopje (ISSHS)
Martin Kothé, Regional Director East and Southeast Europe, Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF)
Bojan Marichikj, Minister of Justice of North Macedonia
Victor Guzun, Former Ambassador of Moldova to Estonia, and currently a professor at Tallinn University and ICT consultant in Estonia
Simonida Kacarska, Director of European Policy Institute (EPI)
Gjergji Vurmo, IDM’s Program Director and BiEPAG Expert
Stanimir Panajotov, Center for Advanced Studies in Sofia
11:00-11:07 Welcoming note and opening remarks by Ljupcho Petkovski, Junior Scientific Associate of Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities – Skopje (ISSHS)
11:07-11:12 Martin Kothé, Welcoming address on behalf of FNF
11:12-11:15 Katerina Kolozova, Welcoming address on behalf of ISSHS and brief presentation of main findings and recommendations of the study
11:15-11:30 Bojan Marichikj, Minister of Justice of North Macedonia
11:30-11:45 Victor Guzun, Former Ambassador of Moldova to Estonia, and currently a professor at Tallinn University and ICT consultant in Estonia
11:45-12:00 Simonida Kacarska, Director of European Policy Institute (EPI)
12:00-12:15 Gjergji Vurmo, IDM’s Program Director and BiEPAG Expert
12:15-12:30 Stanimir Panajotov, Center for Advanced Studies in Sofia
12:30-13:00 Discussion moderated by Ljupcho Petkovski